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If IT within your business is generally thought of as a cost rather than a benefit, there is likely something wrong!
By Colin Morrison, Service Delivery Manager
First of all, does your IT infrastructure meet your company’s needs? Out of date, poorly specified or badly managed infrastructure can have a huge impact on your staff’s productivity and your IT costs. Upgrading your infrastructure is not always appropriate, however constantly applying Band-Aids to resolve issues can become more costly over time. Minor issues can also amplify over time and become larger or result in unexpected downtime. It’s key that issues are investigated and resolved properly the first time.
If you want to get the best out of your current setup, you must pay attention to tangible and intangible costs, such as subscriptions and productivity, respectively. If you have an IT provider, it’s important that they provide you with the best advice in those areas. Before we dig into the detail, here are three basic examples of how you could extend the life of your hardware.
- Warranties should be maintained to reduce the risk of any hardware issues.
- Licensing and software versions should be reviewed – You can see significant productivity gains with upgraded software. For example, the latest Microsoft Office suite is significantly more customised for working in a cloud environment and performance with Office 365 email is significantly better.
- Monthly subscriptions should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are still relevant. Monthly costs can sometimes slip by and be forgotten about, significantly impacting your overall IT expenditure.
The intangible and hidden high costs.
It isn’t just the tangible monthly fees you pay your provider, it is the hidden costs that might really be hurting your business. Your IT provider should be your fully trusted partner so, if you are spending a significant amount of your time managing your IT provider, it could be time to review your relationship to free up your time.
Also, poorly designed IT processes and IT support structures can impact directly your IT costs. It’s extremely important that the roles of your internal & external resources are setup as efficiently as they can. Analyse them and, together with your IT provider, find room for optimisation turning your support into an efficient and effective engine.
Review now, save later.
Frequent IT reviews are key to preserving an efficient IT environment. ICT technology is moving at a faster pace now than ever before. Once outside of the normal three-year server hardware lifecycle, it is key that your infrastructure is frequently reviewed. One area in particular is internet services, the ongoing rollout of NBN is driving down the costs of ISP fibre services across Australia. You could potentially see immediate and significant service improvements or cost reductions.
Get two for the price of one.
IT reviews can often present businesses with opportunities to reduce costs while improving on productivity. How? Solutions! Your IT partner should be discussing solutions that have clear benefits to your company and staff. Services such as Office 365 offer a range of benefits in terms of ongoing cost (reduction in licensing fees and new software versions included) but can also enhance productivity. Another option can be remote working, which can significantly enhance productivity and provide flexibility to your staff, allowing full access to email, documents and communication when away from the office. Collaboration with branch offices can be considerably improved with SharePoint & Skype for Business, improving team co-operation and productivity. Some solutions may require an initial investment, however, the benefits in terms of cost and efficiency can often be realised quickly.
Your IT partner should be able to work with you to optimise your IT expenditure and consult on new technologies and services that will have a positive benefit to your organisation. Whether it is reviewing and optimising support services to better suit your organisation or consulting on flexible and agile ICT infrastructure that improves reliability and productivity to your staff.
If you are unsure about your IT environment and would like to discuss your concerns with one of our IT consultants contact us on 1300 991 351 or email us on email@example.com. Our consultants are highly experienced and can point you in the right direction of how and when to do an evaluation of your systems.Back to articles